MADISON – Two research specialists from within the University of Wisconsin System have been named the winners of the 2003 Regents Academic Staff Award for Excellence.

The recipients of this year’s award are John J. Gugerty, researcher at UW-Madison’s Center on Education and Work; and Susan Foxwell, director of research services at UW-Stout. Each receives a $5,000 award for professional development or to enhance a university program or function.

The awards were presented Friday (April 11) at the UW System Board of Regents meeting in Madison. Academic staff members from each UW institution were nominated for the award, and a regent committee chaired by Regent JoAnne Brandes chose the recipients. Regents Roger E. Axtell, Jonathan B. Barry, and student regent Tommie L. Jones, Jr., also served on the committee.

“The board is pleased to present this annual award in strong appreciation of non-instructional academic staff throughout the UW System,” Brandes said. “We are fortunate to have outstanding academic staff members who significantly contribute to the strength and success of the UW System and its institutions. This award recognizes their exemplary efforts, their institutional loyalty, their professionalism, and their devotion to serving students and the citizens of Wisconsin.”

Gugerty has worked as a researcher at UW-Madison’s Center on Education and Work for more than two decades. He serves as co-director for several projects funded by federal grants, which have brought more than $4 million to the UW System.

In addition, Gugerty is the creator and co-director of the Wisconsin Advanced Placement Distance Learning Consortium, which works to expand the state’s advanced placement curricula. He has also collaborated with UW-Madison’s McBurney Disability Resource Center on a project using a $1 million grant to make UW System websites accessible for learners with disabilities.

“His contribution is, in fact, the very essence of the Wisconsin Idea,” one nominator wrote. Another said Gugerty “exemplified the truest meaning of a totally engaged and impassioned educator and leader,” while according to another nominator, “the man lacks nothing but a cape.”

Gugerty earned his master’s degree in rehabilitation facilities administration from UW-Madison. He volunteers as co-editor of the Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, the official publication of the National Association of Vocational Education Special Needs Personnel.

Foxwell was recently named director of research services at UW-Stout, following a two-year term as interim director. There, nominators say, her leadership and support “has linked our research directly to the mission and vision of the university¬Ö and has made us better faculty, as well as making UW-Stout a better university.”

Among her accomplishments, Foxwell initiated the Faculty Research Associate Program, which encourages research participation among faculty and staff, and created the Research Advisory Council, comprised of individuals from various departments and colleges who provide input for strategic planning and guidance.

According to another nominator, Foxwell’s “consistently high standards, positive interactions and innovative solutions” have been key to increasing grant and funding activities. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences has experienced a 300-percent increase in grant submissions and a 400-percent increase in grant awards in just three years.

Foxwell’s background includes a bachelor’s of science in home economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master’s degree in home economics education from UW-Stout. She joined the staff at UW-Stout in 1978 as a lecturer in the school of home economics.

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Erik Christianson UW System 608-262-5061